Severe thunderstorms that ripped through central Alberta late last month resulted in more than $30 million in insured damage, the Insurance Bureau of Canada says.

The storms, which struck Red Deer, Innisfail and Pine Lake on June 20, produced hail and winds topping 100 km/h that caused widespread power outages.

Rob de Pruis, the bureau’s director of consumer and industry relations for western region, described the storms as a “fairly significant event for Alberta,” adding about two-thirds of all damage was to residential and commercial properties, with the remainder to vehicles.

Damage to homes caused by wind is typically covered by home insurance, de Pruis said, including damage from flying debris. Damage to vehicles caused by wind is also usually covered under comprehensive, or all perils, optional policy coverage.

Food spoilage caused by a prolonged power outage is usually covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy, de Pruis said.

“Severe storms are happening more often and it feels like with greater intensity across Alberta, so it’s essential that people have their own emergency preparedness plan and know what to do when bad weather strikes,” he said.

Insurance expert with, Anne Marie Thomas, said homeowners who failed to regularly maintain the roof of their home may struggle to get 100 per cent of the damage covered by their insurance company.

Thomas added that homeowners and car owners should review their insurance policies following a severe storm event.

One man was injured in the storm after being struck by debris at the Lion’s Campground in the Red Deer river valley.

At the time of the storm, city manager Craig Curtis said it “doesn’t compare to any I have ever experienced in Red Deer.”

Environment Canada described the Red Deer storm as a “plow wind” which results in strong, flat winds moving in a line after a number of similar storms have collected alongside each other.

Source: Edmonton Journal